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By Naomi Webb


Office managers are responsible for what’s spent in classrooms on school supplies. But, if they get it wrong (or don’t have enough money to begin with), teachers often end up having to spend their own money to make up the shortfall. 

 If you want to avoid forking out for your classroom’s school supplies, follow these top tips on stretching your money so that your budget goes further… 


Ask another teacher

Teachers with more experience than you will have been budgeting for a long while, so seek out their advice. Similarly, a teacher who has been in their profession for a long while might have accumulated surplus supplies over the years, so offer to have a clean up for them and politely ask if you can have one or two things that are just sat gathering dust.


Get familiar with a supplier

You’re not going to get the most for your money if you go to a conventional high street shop or supermarket. In fact, if you want high quality products at a better rate, you should be buying your supplies from an educational supplier – one that primarily stocks classrooms, rather than homes. For instance, buy from a retailer such as this one and sign up for emails so that you receive news about discounts and special offers.


Ask for donations of supplies

Every single year, parents traipse around the shops to find a present for their child’s teacher as a small thank you for the work they’ve done all year. But, rather than being presented with chocolates or candles (after all, there’s only so much you can get through!), politely request that parents donate school supplies or volunteer a contribution instead. You can never have too much stationery, so point parents in the right direction and gratefully accept glue sticks, post it notes and colouring pencils by the box. These kinds of supplies will come in handy in the new school year, and similar gifts will be well-received if a kindly parent insists on buying you a Christmas present too.


Ask friends and family to help you out

Similarly, friends and family who are struggling to buy you a birthday present might appreciate knowing that what you really need is a bit of extra help refilling your classroom supplies. Again, show them an online shop they can buy from, or accept their unwanted bits and bobs: packs of colouring pens that their children haven’t opened, leftover wrapping paper or an extra notepad bought with a buy-one-get-one-free offer would be really useful for you.


Hold a fundraiser

Most of the time, parents are blissfully unaware of the fact that the resources in their children’s classrooms aren’t in endless supply. So, send an email or a letter home that explains the fact that once supplies have run out (along with your budget), you’ll be having to pay for replacements out of your pay packet. Most parents will be surprised and (hopefully) a little horrified at the prospect, so throw a bake sale or something similar to raise cash. Plenty of parents will be willing to chip in to cake making, and there’ll be plenty of children to play games and eat tasty treats!